President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle, has prayed for Nigeria’s President not to suffer the same fate as that of the Chadian President, Idriss Deby who died fighting rebels.
He offered the prayer while addressing journalists recently on the sidelines of the 108th convention of the Nigerian Baptist Convention on his exit as Nigerian Baptist Convention, (NBC) leader and some of the challenges the country is dealing with.
Ayokunle said; ”My tenure is ending as the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, not as the CAN President. These are two different organisations with two different starting points and two different constitutions. If you ask me what CAN is doing about insecurity in the country, I would be very disappointed. There is hardly any week that you don’t hear of what CAN is doing in the newspaper, all over, in order to address the serious insecurity challenges we have in this place. We have been to the powers that be at Aso Rock and we’ve raised concerns. We have been to the National Assembly and, not too long ago, you saw us with the Governor of Kaduna State (Nasir el-Rufai) because of the deplorable situation of security in that state. So, CAN is not only praying. CAN is doing advocacy for a more drastic approach.
”You knew how we were on the President of the nation to rejig the security architecture of the nation to correct the lopsidedness and we didn’t give up until we had a little bit of change. But we still have a lot to do about correcting the lopsidedness. Very recently also, you saw our paid advertisements in different newspapers about the need for the government to take security more seriously because for anybody to be telling the government it is doing its best is not to say the truth. Such a person is too clever by half.
The best presently is not the best for the nation because it has not been able to give us a secure environment. I pray that our case will not be like that of Chad. Recently, you heard in the news that the bandits there, or whatever you call them, killed the president. That means the bandits or anti-government people are having a field day. So, we don’t need to be deceiving ourselves with the breakdown of law and order that we have presently in the nation.
We have talked about the rampaging herdsmen. I’ve gone and written papers to the President; I’ve pleaded with him that he should do something with the herdsmen that are Fulani, who have become very cantankerous and dangerous with AK-47 in different communities where they have been living before.
We have challenged the government on why they are not taking serious steps to investigate the sources of ammunition of these people. We have also challenged the government to mop up the illegal weapons in the hands of various people. You have read all that. I think you, journalists, should commend CAN because I don’t see any other organisation in this country presently that is constantly speaking to the situation on the ground more than CAN. We deserve kudos rather than asking for what CAN is doing.”